CAN Liverpool get something in the home leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final tie with Liverpool? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) studies the form for us.
Liverpool v Chelsea | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
It’s hard to think of another club in the Premier League who’ve received more negative press than Liverpool this season. But when you look at the table and their current form record that doesn’t seem fair.
Brendan Rodgers’ side may be down in 8th place in the table but they’ve lost just one game in their last 14 (in all competitions) and have five wins in their last six games to show for their endeavours. To be fair, the vast majority of those wins have come against bottom half sides, but as they say, you can only beat what’s in front of you.
Chelsea arrived at Anfield in November and condemned Liverpool to a third successive defeat that day with a 2-1 win. Liverpool at the time were punch drunk after playing a shadow side to Real Madrid and dealing with the hurricane of abuse that came their way because of it.
I think this game will be different though. The fact it’s the first of a two-legged tie means the intensity levels may not be as high as that league match.
While Chelsea are the better team, I feel Liverpool can get something from this match. They beat Man City away in the opening leg of the 2012 League Cup semi-finals while Chelsea have shown in the past that they step up the gears in the second leg of League Cup semi-finals.
Under Jose Mourinho in the 2004/05 Carling Cup semi-finals they drew 0-0 at home to Manchester United before beating them 2-1 at Old Trafford in the return contest. Two years after that (on the way to another trophy) they couldn’t even beat Paul Lambert’s Wycombe in the opener. A 4-0 win 13 days later at Stamford Bridge snuffed out any hopes of an upset.
While Mourinho would have taken huge pleasure in taking the three points from an under-pressure Rodgers in November, I think he’ll be happy to sit back here and secure a decent position for the return leg on home soil in two weeks time.
The match odds are similar to their November league meeting with Liverpool as big as 13/5 with Betfair. I’m not quite brave enough to back them to win this game but I think they’re more than capable of avoiding defeat. Liverpool +1 is 8/11 with Boylesports but that seems fairly cramped so I’ll plump for the draw here at 5/2 with Skybet. That would suit Jose just fine.
Liverpool v Chelsea – Draw (5/2 Skybet)